It’s Memorial Day, which means a lot of day baseball and spending time with friends and family. That’s what most of us at CI will be doing, so today’s lineup post is going to be very brief.
Kris Bryant is absent from today’s lineup after a collision with Jason Heyward Sunday afternoon, but he was cleared to fly with the team so we’ll hope it’s just a brief issue. Kyle Schwarber is leading off in left and Javy Báez slides up to the two hole as the DH, presumably to rest his sore heel.
Anthony Rizzo is at first, Willson Contreras is catching, and newly promoted Jim Adduci takes his cuts in a big run-producing spot. Albert Almora Jr. is in center, Daniel Descalso is at second, Addison Russell handles short, and David Bote is at the hot corner.
Gerrit Cole is on the mound for the Astros and he’s been as good as ever this season. Don’t let the ERA fool you, this dude is shoving. He’s registered at least seven strikeouts in 10 of his 11 starts and has hit double digits five times. The big issue has been the home run ball, which has stung him quite frequently.
Cole has given up multiple homers in three games and is at an unsightly (at least for him) 1.51 HR/9 right now. Walks have also been an issue, but not in that he’s thrown a bunch of them. In six starts, he’s walked one or no batters, but he’s walked three in each of his other five starts. That’s odd, but the Cubs might be able to take advantage if he’s a little wild.
The visitors will have to capitalize on mistakes, few and far between though they may be. Cole sits 97 with the fastball and delivers a nasty power slider, so he’s nails when he’s on his game. His curve is decent as well, but the change hasn’t been on point.
A split-neutral pitcher for his career, Cole has been very hard on lefty hitters here in 2019. They’re OPS-ing only .600 with a .263 wOBA while righties are at .733 and .307, respectively. And though lefties have drawn 12 of Cole’s 17 walks, they’ve hit only four of the 11 home runs against him. Something to keep an eye on, maybe.
After squaring off against rookie Cole Irvin in his last start, Cole Hamels is once again facing a homonymous opponent. Let’s just hope he’s sharper against an incredibly talented Astros lineup than he was against the Phillies.
First pitch from Houston is set for 1:10pm CT and can be seen on WGN or heard on 670 The Score.
Here is today's #Cubs lineup in Houston.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 27, 2019